Hospitals Now Able to Analyze Medical Mistakes without Fear of Lawsuits

Thursday, December 4, 2008 General News
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MEMPHIS, Tenn., Dec. 4 Continuing concern over preventableharm to patients due to medical error has inspired a government agency toemulate a leading aviation safety system. An immediate outcome fromrecommendations in the IOM "Crossing the Quality Chasm" series of reports, isthe Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act of 2005 that authorized thecreation of Patient Safety Organizations (PSOs). PSOs will provide a secureenvironment in which clinicians and health care organizations can collect,aggregate, and analyze data that enable the identification and reduction ofrisks and hazards associated with patient care. Supporters note that fear ofdisclosure and isolated, non-standardized data have hampered the potentiallearning from data collected on patient safety events. Similar to NASA'sAviation Safety Reporting System (ASRS), PSOs allow for voluntaryparticipation of standardized and confidential reporting and analysis of dataon adverse medical events, without the fear of legal discovery.

ASRS is the world's largest repository of aviation human factorsinformation. Pilots anonymously report as many as 40,000 mistakes per year tothis secure data base system maintained by NASA. Tracking reported errors formore than 30 years has allowed researchers to effectively pinpoint problemswithin the aviation system, identify safety risks and proactively address theproblems before flying customers are jeopardized. In an effort to achievesimilar success, the government has designed a health care safety reportingsystem utilizing multiple data collection agencies designated as PatientSafety Organizations.

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) recently listedHuman Performance Technology Group (HPTG) as one of the first PSOs. HPTGpresident Lindsey Donges, a commercial airline pilot, familiar with thebenefits of NASA's ASRS system, created his company after experiencing errorsin his own healthcare. HPTG offers a proven communication and dataanalysis/measurement application similar to NASA's system called KBCoreSM.Powered by KBCoreSM, HPTG's customized Web-based data collection modulescapture, analyze, share, and manage hospital-wide patient safety data frommultiple hospitals in a standardized format and with a primary focus onlearning, aggregating, and building knowledge.

"I personally lived through a culture change in aviation over the past 35years and I can tell you first hand that the culture of team building,communicating and knowledge building is desperately needed in the dynamicenvironment of practicing medicine in hospitals of the future," says CaptainLindsey Donges. "LifeWings and Human Performance Technology Group were bothborn from the current culture of aviation and utilize 21st century forwardthinking in bringing true quality improvements to healthcare and its humanelement."

Ensuring hospitals get the maximum benefit from this modern, new approachfor embedding a proactive, preventive and predictive patient safety knowledgecommunication and analysis system in hospitals, HPTG is collaborating withLifeWings Partners, the nation's largest provider of aviation-based safetysystems for hospitals. LifeWings' Crew Resource Management (CRM) program,built by a former Top Gun instructor and a group of commercial airline pilots,former astronauts, physicians, nurses and risk managers, has been proven tosignificantly and measurably reduce errors, increase patient and employeesatisfaction, reduce turnover, and cut healthcare costs. Taught to more than13,000 high-performance medical team members each year, the LifeWings systemhas been a resounding success at scores of institutions. Healthcarefacilities using the program have seen error rates reduced ten-fold, observedmortality rates cut by 43%, and surgical count errors decreased by 50%.

"The medical teams we work with are, in many respects, just like flightcrews. They are extremely skilled, highly dedicated and disciplinedprofessionals who take their work seriously. We find that the practicesdeveloped for the LifeWings CRM program resonate with these expert workers,"said Captain Stephen Harden, president and co-founder of LifeWings PartnersLLC. "We are pleased to collaborate with HPTG, to strengthen our efforts inimproving the safety and quality of patient care nationwide."

For the first time, HPTG and LifeWings will appear together at IHI'sNational Forum on Quality Improvement in Health Care, the country's largestpatient safety conference, in Nashville, TN, December 9-11th at the GaylordOpryland Resort & Convention Center, Ryman C, Booth 321. They will introducean operational model of a PSO to hospital representatives and healthcareprofessionals who are eager to implement this new system in the expectationof learning about medical errors and improving overall performance, healthcarequality, and patient safety.

About LifeWings Partners LLC:

LifeWings Partners was founded by a former U.S. Navy Top Gun instructor, acommercial airline pilot, and two physicians who are former NASA astronauts.LifeWings' practical and effective teamwork training programs are highlyeffective in reducing human error and currently involve the training of morethan 13,000 high-performance medical team members per year. Measurableresults are found in all LifeWings' initiatives. To find out more, pleasevisit

About Human Performance Technology Group:

Human Performance Technology Group (HTPG) has successfully made qualityimprovement and patient safety its mission by delivering a proactive modelthat instills a culture of communication and learning to healthcare systems.Recently designated a Patient Safety Organization (PSO), HPTG provides a fullarray of analysis and problem solving capabilities through easy to useWeb-based data collection, powered by KBCoreSM. HPTG encourages allparticipants in the healthcare system to collaborate and perpetuate acontinual process for improvement and better outcomes. To find out more,please visit CONTACT: HPTG CONTACT: Steve Harden, President Lindsey Donges, President & CEO LifeWings Partners LLC Human Performance Technology Group (901) 413-8598 (800) 818-0297

SOURCE LifeWings Partners LLC

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